Crossroads of Social Science: The ICPSR 25th Anniversary Volume

Crossroads of Social Science: The ICPSR 25th Anniversary Volume

Crossroads of Social Science: The ICPSR 25th Anniversary Volume

Crossroads of Social Science: The ICPSR 25th Anniversary Volume


".. anyone concerned with the state of social science disciplines should find these essays of interest." - Journal of Politics


The papers brought together here were presented on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in November, 1987. in the instructions to the contributors no attempt was made to harness them to a particular theme or suggest a specific topic. Knowing their interests and experience as well as their diverse and distinguished roles in the development of the social sciences and the Consortium, we were confident that they would have something worthwhile to say on an occasion that called for reflection on the successes and failures of the social sciences over the last few decades as well as on their future.

As reading of the chapters in this volume will show, of concern is of course that sector of the social sciences that is devoted to empirical research, theory and method —the sector cutting across the various disciplines that defines the mission of the Consortium as the country’s and perhaps the world’s leading center for archiving quantitative data and for utilizing these data through instruction in relevant theories and methods. Needless to say, it was our hope that the contributors would note the contributions of the Consortium to the development of the social sciences and its relation to broader trends in the various disciplines.

However, the Consortium is not the “object” of these essays or in any sense their main focus. Rather, the focus is on generic problems, difficulties, and dilemmas in the social sciences that the contributors are uniquely qualified to articulate. Each of them has been intimately involved in the development of one or another discipline in the last thirty years or so; each has made significant contributions to that development in many ways; each has a personal perspective on accomplishments and failures, promises and needs, continuities to be cultivated and opportunities to be seized. We have brought the anniversary essays together in this volume because, we feel, the experiences and thoughts of their authors can be beneficially shared by the larger social science community and deserve the community’s reflective consideration.

Jerome M. Clubb Executive Director, icpsr

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